home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 13, 2019

Matt McCall

Keon Clergeot

Sy Chatman

Washington, D.C.

George Washington 68, UMASS 64

COACH MATT McCALL: Obviously very, very disappointed with the ending, that it's over, and, you know, really looking back and seeing, you know, all the things that have transpired up to this point that have gotten us at this point in the season, and there's been a lot of losses over the last two years.

And you know, to end it that way, I thought we had great effort. I thought our guys really went out there and tried. Obviously undermanned, foul troubled, a number of different things. But really, you know, it's disappointing.

But I think that as a leader, as a coach, you've got to go through these experiences to see exactly what your program needs, and it's never fun. But you know, I think that our guys will become better, and we need a lot more positivity in our program, in order to win, and win at a high, high level, you have to get 12, 13, 14 guys that are completely connected and about all the right things and are completely bought in with everything that we're doing.

As far as the game, again, I thought we had good effort. I thought the offensive glass really, really hurt us, and the free throw line, we did a poor job at the end of regulation executing, twice. You know, drew up two different actions there. One we were trying to get Carl Pierre coming off a wide screen set by Rashaan and allow him to create a little bit there.

And then was trying to get Keon off a double pick-and-roll end of regulation, trying to get him in the lane and screen away from Carl for the shot. So did a really poor job of executing twice there at the end of regulation.

But again I thought our effort was really, really good. But the energy level, the positivity in our program, you know, being 100 percent completely bought in with everything we're doing, that needs to happen now.

Q. Obviously their zone gave you some trouble a couple week ago. What did you do well to shoot them out of that zone?
KEON CLERGEOT: Really just we come out there to play hard at the beginning. But then we just really just came flat at the second half. We just didn't keep playing hard, but, you know, very disappointed that -- how it ended.

Q. Keon, I'm sure the loss really over shadows the career-high 25. With Pip out and Carl struggling and guys in foul trouble, did it seem like the scoring load came on you today? Did it seem like you needed to pick up that slack so to speak?
KEON CLERGEOT: Really just play hard. That's just all my mindset, always been my mindset. Just go out there and play hard.

Q. How do you feel like your role has kind of evolved over these past couple weeks, because obviously before Djery got here, you were playing a lot of the five, and Djery comes here -- I know Coach is trying to find you some playing time at the 4 and the 5. How do you think your role has evolved after you've settled into this groove here?
SY CHATMAN: I think at the beginning of the season I started off mainly playing the five just because that was a spot they needed a person to play. Once Djery came, they were trying to move me to the floor and working off stuff like that. My role right now I think is to go in the game rebound, play hard, go rebound, defend; so if I just do that well..

Q. What happened on that final play in overtime where you grabbed the rebound?
SY CHATMAN: I came down on my ankle and ended up rolling it.

Q. Did you get hit or anything going up?
SY CHATMAN: I guess the refs didn't think I got hit.

Q. Did you have some idea that you and Tre were going to get so much run today and do you think it was kind of a big opportunity for you two freshmen to grow on a stage like this?
SY CHATMAN: Yeah, like we always talked about it, just like playing together and all that.

So like knowing that we're undermanned, like we knew we were going to play a lot, and we just came into it the game focused.

Q. Coach McCall was just kind of talking about sort of the importance of this off-season coming up for this program. How do you kind of grade how important this off-season is for you guys kind of building into next year?
KEON CLERGEOT: Positivity. Bringing a lot of positivity.

SY CHATMAN: I think this summer could be huge for us, the team. If everybody gets better and we come to work over the summer, make sure we are going to have a lot better result at the end of the season.

Q. Judging from what you said in your opening statements, it seems like you were alluding to possibly times during the year that everybody didn't buy into what you were trying to teach and there wasn't always a positive attitude. Could you expand on that?
COACH MATT McCALL: I mean, you know, I look at a guy like Rashaan Holloway, you know, and Pipkins and McLean, especially those three guys, those three guys have been through a lot, and with the coaching change. Me getting hired at the timing I did with everything that transpired and is really tried to do as well as I possibly could to build trust with those three guys, and especially because of them coming back.

And then you add in an influx of other players, transfers, a couple freshmen, and there was kind of a roller coaster year last year, and well, fast forward into this year, and you have all these guys sitting out, and human nature is, well, it's going to be easy because we have more guys.

It's not easier. It's harder, and you have to have more buy-in and you have to work harder unless you can snap your fingers and get to the Atlantic 10 tournament and think you're going to rope off five games in a row.

And I think at times, maybe when it didn't go well or in my own individual expectations as a player aren't met, it's easy to say, you're not bought in or have a negative attitude. That's what you're dealing with 18-, 19-, 20-year-old guys at times. Especially when you're dealing with rebuilding a program, and that's what we're doing.

I think for me as a leader, I've said this to these guys before that are at every single one of our press conferences, I've been spoiled. I've been spoiled. I was on a bench for two national championships. I've been an assistant coach in the Final Four, SEC Championships. I was the head coach in the NCAA Tournament. Won a regular season title and a conference title. I've been spoiled.

Sometimes you've got to go through this stuff to see exactly what needs to be done, and that's where I'm at. Hasn't been fun. It's been the most challenging two years of my life, but I've become a better coach and a better leader because of it.

And you know, we've got to have an influx of positivity in our program from the staff to the players to everyone, completely bought in and in a foxhole together that we're doing, and now we are a connected unit and now you can take off and take off and talk about doing something special.

Q. Better day today for the effort after up-and-down this season. Seemed like Keon, especially, was really laying it on the line today. Do you think that helped the rest of the team to see that from him?
COACH MATT McCALL: Really, I thought -- I thought, you know, there was a lot of guys that brought that effort. Keon brings that majority of the time.

You know, I've known him since he was in the ninth grade. He's always played the game with such a chip on his shoulder and so much passion. I was always adamant when he wanted to come here after he decided to leave Memphis -- not necessarily, because he's a talented player, but it was more about that, and we need more of that.

The other young man that was sitting right next to me, last year he's 17 years old and playing in the championship game in the State of Minnesota and we've thrown a lot at him over these last 12 months, and also adjusting to college as a freshman; and his development through the year, I've been really, really proud of, and going to be a big, big piece of this program going forward.

He has that positivity that I'm talking about, and I thought he gave us a lift early in the game. He got in foul trouble, but I thought everybody was into it. I thought a couple mistakes we made there, the ball was going through the net, which helped our energy level. But I thought these two guys, especially, and our starting five, brought tremendous energy today.

Q. You talked Monday about sort of wanting to kind of learn from the Richmond game how to execute the zone. Obviously you shot them out of the zone fairly quickly. What was the biggest difference in terms of how well you were able to execute?
COACH MATT McCALL: Yeah, we did a tremendous job executing versus that zone and when they switched and went man-to-man we got stagnant. We were trying to fire the ball in there to Rashaan. Their post doubles on him caused him to have turnovers which allowed them to get out on the break some.

But we've been executing man-to-man. We talk to these guys about when we're running pick-and-rolls, you have to slow down and take a breath if you are at guard. I mean, how many illegal screens did we have in the first half? Three or four? You know, like, those guards have to stop, wait a second, have a good setup and then come off the pick-and-roll.

We were just in such a rush, but I thought we did a better job executing in the second half versus their man. I just thought the last two possessions in regulation we did a really poor job executing. We draw up on action, we are trying to get a misdirection and hit JL at the elbow and have Rashaan wide screen on Carl. It was either going to be Carl coming off for a shot or get Rashaan a post-up; and we were trying to run a double pick-and-roll there with the whole floor space to get Keon going to his right hand and then stagger away for Carl, and we didn't execute either one of those.

Then the end of the overtime we did a better job, and Carl got fouled there. You know, we go 10-for-22 from the free throw line, and you know, they shot 36 free throws to our 22. That's a huge discrepancy but we can't go 10-for-22. If we make six more and we go 16-for-22, we win the game.

Q. Having kind of some of the young guys be -- get a lot of run out there and throughout the course of the season kind of giving them the growing pains, how much does that mean to those guys going into a summer where, you know, a lot of development is possible?
COACH MATT McCALL: This is the most important summer since I've been here in a lot of different ways.

There's just been so much going on and so much roster turnover over the last two years. Who we bring into our program right now, with the guys that will be coming back, this is a huge, huge summer. It's a huge summer work-wise. It's a huge summer for us to become a real team, a connected team, where everybody is pulling and everybody is rooting for each other.

You know, it was tough losing Samba. Samba, like Keon, like Sy, brings this energy level to us. Plays the game with such tenacity and ferociousness. You know, him not being able to play these last six, seven games, whatever it was, I think the last game he played in was Davidson which was a huge win for us. Not having him down the stretch, I would have liked to have had him, one, because he's a really good player. Two, for what you're talking about.

But this is the most important summer since I've been here, as a head coach, for our program going forward and it's time that this program take a huge, huge step forward because we've been getting knocked back and getting our teeth set in, and it's time that we march forward.

Q. I feel like after each win this year you've brought up the assist total in ball movement. To only get seven tonight, is that just a product of the stagnant offense?
COACH MATT McCALL: I'd love to see how many of those were in the first five minutes of the game.

You know, we missed some guys at times. We turned it over some there, on post doubles when the ball was going into Rashaan. Had some bad, bad, bad turnovers. Had some chances to make some game-winning plays down the stretch.

You know, we miss a charge there on a baseline drive. It was a loose ball that we didn't come up with. But I thought our ball movement was really, really good in the first half and I thought their adjustment to go man-to-man, our guys got taken off guard a little bit.

But you know, again, that's an inconsistent team and to me that goes back to culture. That goes back to buy-in. That goes back to being a connected team 100 percent, and I've said this a thousand times: I take ownership for where we are, and we're going to get it right. We're going to get it fixed. We're going to get it corrected, and you know, the 12, 13 guys that will be out there for UMASS are going to be 12, 13 guys that have an unbelievable amount of appreciation for the opportunity to play at this school each and every day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297